This is the cloth I pulled out of the compost, washed and dried. Now it is my turn to respond to it.
I had this strong urge to preserve it….
…so I looked up 2 of my favourite books,
Therese de Dillmont’s ‘The Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework’
and Weldon’s ‘Encyclopedia of Needlework’,
to read up about darning and patching. But once I started handling the compost cloth I saw that it is completely rotten with weak fibers so can’t be patched or mended.
Next I did a web search on museum textile conservation techniques, which seemed to better suit the condition of this textile.
I attached it to a small tea cloth to act as a support and am now working a small running stitch around every tear, through both layers of cloth.
It is starting to have that nice crinkled ‘English quilting’ look.
It also reminds me of Kantha work from NE India and Bangladesh.